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Title:Electrochemical oxidation of per and polyfluorinated alkyl substances: Unique challenges in landfill leachates
Author(s):Witt, Suzanne
Subject(s):per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances
Abstract:Presented by: Suzanne Witt – Scientist at Fraunhofer USA, Co-authors: Michael Becker, Vanessa Maldonado Abstract: Per and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) are toxic chemicals used in a wide variety of consumer goods and industrial processes. Their highly recalcitrant nature has led to their accumulation in the environment after disposal, resulting in contamination of many different water sources. Electrochemical oxidation (EO) is a promising strategy for destroying PFAS in a variety of impacted matrices. EO utilizes high current densities to oxidize the strong carbon-fluorine bonds of PFAS chains, ideally resulting in carbon dioxide and fluoride. This process has been successfully demonstrated on a fundamental level, however the application of EO in real world solutions presents new and unique challenges. Particularly for landfill leachates, variations in matrix composition between landfills and over time within the same landfill adds complexity to the design of a treatment protocol. The presence of PFAS precursor compounds at fluctuating concentrations makes predicting and optimizing treatment conditions very difficult, as solutions with higher precursor concentrations require longer treatment times and higher energy costs. Here, we present a summary of the efficacy of EO for leachates from three different landfills, and for leachate from the same landfill collected in different months, to highlight the implications of solution matrix on EO treatment performance. Biography: Dr. Suzanne Witt received her PhD in Chemistry from The Ohio State University in 2017. Her graduate research centered around the investigation of dirhodium catalysts for electrochemical water splitting and/or carbon dioxide reduction. At Fraunhofer USA, she is the technical lead on projects related to the electrochemical application of diamond-related materials, including the use of boron doped diamond in wastewater treatment. She currently manages the center’s project on landfill leachate treatment in partnership with the City of Grand Rapids, MI.
Issue Date:2021-04-28
Series/Report:2021 Emerging Contaminants in the Environment Conference (ECEC21)
Genre:Presentation / Lecture / Speech
Conference Paper / Presentation
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-04-26

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